Premises Liability: Slip & Fall
Premises liability is when you are hurt on another person’s property
due to the owner’s or manager’s negligence. Many of these
cases are slips, trips, and falls. Trip and falls often result in serious
injuries, such as
fractures, broken bones,
head trauma, all the way up to
death. If you are injured in a slip, trip, or fall due to an unsafe condition,
you have the right to bring a claim for your injuries including pain and
suffering, medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity and future
Despite the negative connotation often attached to trip and fall legal
claims, the fact is most falls are preventable and thousands are seriously
injured each year because of negligent property management. When property
owners recognize fall risks and use basic care these serious injuries
are prevented. That is why laws throughout the nation require trip and
fall hazards be recognized and repaired. If a property owner does not,
he or she has been negligent in their management, maintenance, repair
or upkeep, and is responsible for the injuries suffered.
Negligence in slip and fall cases is not always obvious, so insurance companies rarely
acknowledge responsibility to an unrepresented person. The insurance company
will try to convince victims the property owner is not at fault, or that
their injuries are exaggerated. If your slip and fall injury is serious,
you should look for a lawyer quickly. It is in your best interest to work
with experienced counsel, as you can be pitted against hostile insurance
companies and uncooperative property owners.
The Spokane slip, trip, and fall lawyers at
Sweetser Law Office will investigate property conditions, document lost income, obtain and
organize all of your medical records and bills, deal with the insurance
company’s tactics, and prove your case at trial if necessary. Sweetser
Law Office has years of experience obtaining compensation for the injured,
and a proven record of results in slip and fall cases. Most settlements
do not require court and many injury settlements are reached without going to trial.
What to Do if You Have Been Injured in a Trip, Slip or Fall
- Seek medical attention. Follow all doctor’s orders.
- Write down witnesses contact information.
- Obtain names of owners and managers of the property.
- Report the injury, and insist on an incident report.
- Take photos of unsafe conditions, from your viewpoint at the time of fall.
- Save your footwear and clothing.
- Do not sign documents or speak with insurance companies.
Contact premises liability attorneys at
Sweetser Law Office.
Slips, Trips & Falls Are the Second Leading Cause of Unintentional Injuries
Slip, trip and fall injuries are more common than most people think. Falls
are one of the leading causes of unintentional injuries in the United
States, accounting for approximately 8.9 million visits to the emergency
department each year. The risk of falling, and fall-related problems,
rises with age. Thus, falls represent a growing health and safety issue
due to poor infrastructure, lack of management, and cheap upkeep.
For example, statistics are kept by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and
the National Safety Council, both non-profit organizations designed to
promote safety and the prevention of injuries:
- Over one million people a year suffer serious injuries from trip, slip
or fall in the United States
- Approximately 17,000 people are killed every year as a result trip, slip or falls.
More people are disabled from injuries due to falls than
motor vehicle accidents
automobile accidents rank above trip, slip and fall for deaths in the United States
- Slips and falls account for more fatal injuries for people older than 65
than any other events.
25% of serious injuries in the
workplace are a result of trip, slip and fall incidents.
Trip, slip and falls kill more workers than any other cause of deaths in the
- A trip, slip and fall injury will cost the injured person an average of
Falls are unexpectedly occurring at grocery stores, department stores,
apartment complexes, shopping centers, residential or commercial establishments,
hotels, restaurants, bars, construction sites, parking lots, sidewalks,
stairways, ramps, walkways, aisles, passageways, public parks, and even
The statistics show that a majority of falls happen from hidden or invisible
obstructions on a seemingly flat surface. The most common causes are slippery
floor surfaces (e.g., highly polished, wet or greasy), or a small and
unassuming object that catches a person’s foot (e.g., cracks in
the floor, electrical leads). Injuries are often associated with the ankle,
knee, back, or neck. Limbs can frequently be fractured or dislocated (such
as when the victim tries to break his fall by extending an arm). Moreover,
because victims are not immediately aware when they have suffered permanent
soft tissue injuries, which are not generally measurable with traditional
equipment like X-rays, many undiagnosed long-term problems significantly
affect these individual's quality of life down the road.
For information on slip and fall statistics, visit the
Slips, Trips & Falls Prevention Training page for additional data.